The Best 4 Automation Tools for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Automating recurring and/or repetitive tasks is one of the best ways to increase operational efficiency in your small business. Fortunately for your company, tapping into the power of automation has never been easier. Affordable automation software is readily available and the learning curve isn’t as steep as you might imagine.
When you’re ready to spend a few hours setting up systems that will save you and your team tons of time, these are the first tools you should turn to.
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That,” and you can use it to create simple automations between different apps. Instead of navigating between different platforms and repeating the same menial tasks, IFTTT takes care of the task when a trigger action occurs.
Here are some examples of IFTTT in action:
- Add scheduled email newsletter campaigns to a Google calendar the whole team can see.
- Automatically add stats from MailChimp and other tools into a spreadsheet, which makes monthly reporting a breeze.
- Create to-dos for replying to emails.
- Set desktop notifications for important emails — a.k.a filter emails that don’t require an immediate reply, so you can stay in the zone longer.
2. Hootsuite or Buffer
Both of these social media scheduling tools make it easy to schedule posts in bulk. You can use them to manage posts on a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
If you’d like to get started with social media for your business, but aren’t sure where to begin, it’s helpful to learn more about best practices. These 5 tips for a successful social media campaign are a great place to start — pay particular attention to number 3.
Tip number 2 does mention limiting automation, especially when it comes to engaging with your community. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are very useful, but they shouldn’t take the place of making authentic connections with your business’s community.
Calendly automates how you schedule meetings, erasing the need for back-to-back emails. Let the tool know your scheduling preferences, then share the Calendly links with attendees. You can even embed links directly on your website, and automatic time zone detection means remembering time differences will be a thing of the past.
Many small business owners dread hiring employees because of complicated payroll processes, but Gusto takes care of those tasks for you.
The Core package offers full-service payroll, health benefits administration, workers’ comp administration, paid-time-off policies, and more. You can try any of the plans for free for one month, so there’s no risk.
New business automation tools are launched all the time
These 4 tools merely scratch the surface of what’s possible with automation, and the number of tools designed for small businesses like yours will only increase over the next few years.
Start your small business automation efforts with the platforms shared here today. Once you’re comfortable, try expanding your knowledge by learning about new tools and technologies. Your automation expertise will grow alongside your business, and you’ll always be ready to tackle the next challenge.